Photoshop Tutorial: How to Create the Sin City Graphic Novel Effect from a Photo!


Hi. This is Marty from Blue Lightning TV.
I’m going to show you how to create the look of a panel in the powerful, neo-noir, graphic novel, “Sin City”. Create a new document by pressing Ctrl + N on Windows or Cmd + N on a Mac. Make its Width: 1550 pixels, its Height: 870 pixels and its Resolution: 150 pixels per inch. Then, click OK. Open a photo of someone that you’d like to use for this project. I downloaded this one from Shutterstock. To place it into your other document, press
Ctrl or Cmd + A to select it all and Ctrl or Cmd + C to copy it. Open your first document
and press Ctrl or Cmd + V to paste your photo onto it.. To adjust its size, open your Transform
Tool by pressing Ctrl or Cmd + T. To see the Transform’s entire bounding box, press Ctrl
or Cmd + 0. Go to a corner and press and hold Shift as you drag it in or out. If you need
to reposition it, just go inside the Transform and drag your photo. Then, press Enter or Return. To fit it back onto your canvas, press Ctrl or Cmd + 0. Merge the two layers by pressing Ctrl or Cmd + E. We’ll convert our image into a Smart Object, so we can modify it non-destructively.
Click the icon at the upper-right of the Layers panel and click “Convert to Smart Object”. Go to Image, Adjustments and “Threshold”. The Threshold Level defaults to 128. I’ll
use this amount. Next, we’ll brush black around our subject. Click the New Layer icon to make
a new layer. Open your Pencil Tool and Pencil Picker. We’ll take care of the size in a moment.
Make sure its Hardness and Opacity are 100%. To make your brush bigger or smaller, press
the right or left Bracket key on your keyboard and make sure your CapsLock key is NOT on.
Brush around your subject and fill in areas on you subject that may be distracting. Feel
free to leave white around some edges to help define boundaries of the head and body. You
can always change it later if you want. Click the New Layer icon to make a new layer. We’ll fill the empty layer with 50% gray. To do this, press Shift + the F5 key at the top of your keyboard to open the Fill window. Click 50% gray and click OK. Go to Filter, Noise and “Add Noise”. Make the Amount: 400%, Gaussian and Monochromatic. Then, click OK. Go to Filter, Blur and Motion Blur. Make the Angle: 70 degrees and the Distance: 2000 pixels. Then, press Enter or Return. We’ll increase the Motion Blur by pressing Ctrl or Cmd +F, four more times. Change its Blend Mode to Vivid Light. Click the Adjustment Layer icon and click “Levels”. To restrict the Adjustment layer to affect only the 1 layer beneath it, we need to make it into a Clipping Mask. To do this, either click the Clipping Mask icon or press Ctrl +Alt + G on Windows or Cmd + Option + G on a Mac. Drag the Shadow Input level to the right until there’s just enough rain on the face. Drag the Highlight Input level to the left until there’s just enough rain on the black areas of your image. Next, we’ll add a talk bubble. Open your Custom Shape Tool. Choose “Shape” and make the “Fill”: white. Make the Stroke: 8 pixels and black. Open your Shape thumbnails and open your list of Shape presets. Click “Talk Bubbles”. When you see this message, it’s just asking us if we want to either replace the current thumbnails with the Talk Bubble thumbnails or we want to add them under the current thumbnails. I’ll click OK to replace them. I’ll choose this one. Click the gear icon at the top and tick “Define Proportions” and check “From Center”. Drag the shape out to any size you like. To hide the Paths, press Ctrl or Cmd + H. To reposition it, press “v” to open your Move Tool… and move it. Open your Horizontal Type Tool and pick a comic font. Im using Komika Display Regular” and “Bold”. If you’d like to use them, I provided their links in my video’s description or project files. I’ll make the size 43 points and Sharp. Choose “Center Alignment” and black for the color. Click on the talk bubble and type out your text. To adjust the space between your lines of text, highlight both lines and go to Window and Character. The Character panel will open. Drag the “Leading”icon to the left or right. Then, you can close the panel. To adjust the space between two characters, click between them and press and hold Alt or Option as you press the left or right arrow key on your keyboard. I’d like to make the second line Bold. I’ll highlight it and click the Bold font. To reposition your text on the bubble, open your Move Tool and simply drag your text. This is Marty from Blue Lightning TV. Thanks for watching!

46 thoughts on “Photoshop Tutorial: How to Create the Sin City Graphic Novel Effect from a Photo!

  1. i hate to use smart object i don't use anything!! 🙁 and also doesn't accept the threhold as a smart filter

  2. Top-notch content as per usual, Marty. Was wondering if you've ever put out a tutorial on some sort of tourist poster with a graphic of a mountain with a red circle around the peak. Something tells me it was a Swiss mountain in the picture, and aimed at informing tourists at an airport or something of the like. I can't find the video, and if you've taken it down or hadn't made it at all, I'd love to know. Thanks!

  3. HI,
    Do you know how to do digital painting in photoshop? and if you do please make a tutorial about it…………..

    love your tutorials

  4. lol I understand 100%…do you know how to do the 2D to 3D parallax effect….and do you have a tutorial on how to do the parallax effect? I noticed some tutorials work in the software Motions but they go so fast. I like your tutorials.

  5. Blue Lighthning TV quiero expresarte mi gratitud por tu vocacion para enseñar y
    hacer de photoshop a traves de tus tutoriales algo ameno y facil,
    gracias a tus conocimientos he aprendido mucha tecnica. Saludos desde
    Colombia. Muchos exitos !!!

  6. Hello. I'm having a difficulity with dispersion of white rain drops or lines. They are all focused in the middle. When i decrease the white picker at levels, it starts with drawing lines in middle and than around. But that makes too much rain when it draws to around. How can i evenly disperse my white lines?

  7. Hi, thanks for the tutorial its amazing, one problem I got. When I use the motion blur tool on a 300 dpi document say A4 size it gradients the motion blur with the centre of the document disappearing completely, this does not seem to happen on your size of document you created. Is there any way around this, I am illustrating a graphic on a A3, 300 dpi document and the rain affect does not render well at all. Is it a setting I am missing or is that the nature of the motion blur tool.

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